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WEEKEND EDITION: I am just updating the page, I had a soccer and field hockey game to watch plus I am participating in the special events station for 100th anniversary of WBZ in Boston using the call W1W. I luckily caught the hams who reside on 3928 afternoons and picked up 10 contacts...

QSO Today - Mark Beckwith, N5OT

Mark Beckwith, N5OT, grew up in Southern California, befriended by amateur radio’s most famous television producer, Dave Bell, W6AQ, who was his amateur radio mentor in the 1970s.

Dave opened a lot of doors to Mark, allowing Mark to build up his contesting and DX on-the-air skills.

Mark was a professional opera singer for over 30 years, leading to some interesting conversation both on and off the QSO Today microphone.

N5OT is my QSO Today.

Listen to the podcast

Amateur Radio Newsline Report


NEIL/ANCHOR: Our top story this week is the cancellation of Tokyo Ham Fair 2021, the world's largest ham radio event. Yoshinori Takao, JG1KTC, chairman of the Japan Amateur Radio League, announced that JARL had been committed to holding the ham fair as planned on October 2nd and 3rd using extreme preventative measures against COVID-19 but new waves of infection made it necessary to call everything off. He expressed hope for better chances in 2022. The 2020 ham fair was also called off due to the pandemic. According to the JARL website, more than 42,000 people attended the fair in 2019 over the course of two days.


NEIL/ANCHOR: The IARU Region 3 is also responding to the pandemic—by holding its first digital regional conference. Jason Daniels VK2LAW brings us that story.

JASON: The IARU Region 3 Conference kicks off on September 20th and for its hosting organisation, RAST, it was supposed to be three days of business and fellowship in Bangkok, Thailand. It will instead be held digitally: a first for Region 3, but a necessary response to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. RAST's president, Jack Hantongkom, HS1FVL, writes on the conference website: [quote] "We are excited about the opportunities of holding an innovative virtual conference." [endquote] As such, the member societies will still meet in working groups to deal with technical, operational and policy matters, typical of any such conference except that this, the 18th regional conference, will take place on the Zoom platform. The tentative list of participants on the conference website includes attendees from ORARI, the Indonesian amateur radio society; the Chinese Taipei Amateur Radio League; the Chinese Radio Amateurs Club; the American Radio Relay League and the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters Society, among others. Jack writes further: [quote] "This conference will bring us together at what is a very difficult time for us all. " [endquote]


NEIL/ANCHOR: Meanwhile, in the US, AMSAT has also announced a change in plans for its 2021 Space Symposium and Annual Meeting. Originally scheduled to take place at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota, it will instead be held on Zoom on Saturday, October 30th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. The program will be a mix of live Q&A sessions and pre-recorded video segments. Registration is required through the AMSAT member portal. AMSAT plans to make the event available for public viewing later on its YouTube channel. AMSAT announced the changes, citing concerns about safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.



NEIL/ANCHOR: Remember Bob and Doug? No, not the fictional McKenzie brothers but the NASA astronauts. SpaceX is remembering them and Paul Braun WD9GCO tells us how.

PAUL: In August of 2020, Bob Behnken KE5GGX and Doug Hurley became the first astronauts launched aboard a crew Dragon spacecraft in a historic commercial flight. This year, Bob and Doug were to play key roles in the splash-down stage of another history-making mission called Inspiration4. Well....at least their namesakes were ready: Two vessels in SpaceX's recovery fleet were named for the pair, in a nod to last year's mission which helped signal a new era in spaceflight. The ships bearing their names became part of the recovery fleet for Inspiration4, which—with a crew of four private citizens aboard— marked the world's first all-civilian space flight.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Paul Braun WD9GCO.



NEIL/ANCHOR: The "voice of freedom" transmitted its first words from West Chester, Ohio across the ocean in September of 1944 at the then-new Bethany Relay Station of the Voice of America. The West Chester Amateur Radio Association WC8VOA, which calls the iconic building its home, is celebrating the relay station's birthday this year with a special event station on September 25th and 26th. Jocelyn Brault KD8VRX/VA2VRX told Newsline that the club's shack is actually the original control room for the relay station. For the special event, be listening on 20 and 40 meters for SSB, FT8 and perhaps some CW as well. Those making a QSO are eligible for a downloadable certificate available 24 hours after the event.



NEIL/ANCHOR: When it comes to batteries, tiny might just be the next big thing. Kent Peterson KC0DGY explains why.

KENT: The smaller the battery, the more powerful the possibilities? The designers of a new battery technology being used in a fitness tracker would like to think so. California-based Sila created the battery for a wristband tracker that experts say could revolutionize everyday electronics and perhaps have implications for modes of transportation too. For now, the ultra-tiny powerhouses are in a niche-market item, a fitness tracker called the Whoop 4.0. According to a New York Times article, the battery has the same lifespan as the power source used in the previous model of that tracker but it's a whole one-third smaller.

Sila and Whoop together said the battery had potential for mass marketing in other devices in the next couple of years. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, which rely on the ionization and movement of lithium atoms, these new batteries use an anode made of silicon instead of graphite, requiring smaller space for the lithium atoms as they move from the anode side of the battery to the cathode.

Sila and another company, QuantumScape, told the New York Times that their batteries will likely be used in a few short years in smart eyeglasses, electric cars and maybe even flying cars one day.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY.



NEIL/ANCHOR: A well-known weather-spotter and amateur radio operator in north Texas has become a Silent Key. Randy Sly W4XJ tells us about him.

RANDY: Charlie Byars, W5GPO, took the lead in tracking severe weather with his local Amateur Radio Emergency Services Skywarn group, which he helped create in 1974. A licensed ham since 1959, Charlie died Sunday, September 12th. Devoted to alerting people in Archer and Wichita counties about dangerous weather, Charlie was a part of the crucial information network in operation on April 20th, 1979, when a deadly tornado swept through the region, killing 40 people and destroying thousands of homes.

Over the years Charlie's commitment to weather reporting found him in numerous roles, including ARES district coordinator for eight counties. According to a report in the Times Record News of Wichita Falls, he was also the recipient in 2005 of an award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Charlie Byars was 86.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Randy Sly W4XJ.



NEIL/ANCHOR: Big plans are being made to mark the day radio amateurs proved they could send signals across the Atlantic. Jack Parker W8ISH tells us what's happening.

JACK: December 11th, 1921 was a significant day for amateur radio: It was the day of the Transatlantic Test Project, when hams' shortwave frequencies showed themselves to be capable of transatlantic radio communications, even at 200 meters or less. The experimental transmission of station 1BCG, using a tube-based transmitter, was conducted by the Radio Club of America on 1.3 MHz and resulted in successful reception in Scotland.

One hundred years later, December 11th, 2021 will be an equally significant day. A replica of that transmitter will be used to re-enact that CW transmission on 160 meters not far from the spot in Connecticut from which the original CW transmission was sent. Longtime Antique Wireless Association member Bob Raide, W2ZM, now a Silent Key, (SK) built the replica for a special event 25 years ago. AWA volunteers have spent lots of time lately refurbishing it, wiring a plate supply, building a filament power supply and sorting out usable tubes.

For a day that comes along once every hundred years, radio operators—and the transmitter—need to be ready.

AWA trustee, Joe Stoltz, K2AEI, told Newsline: [quote] "We have had the transmitter powered up and are able to get 350 watts RF on 160 meters with one amplifier tube. The next step is to construct a 160 meter antenna so we can do some actual on-air testing before December." [endquote] Then be listening for the contact of the century.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jack Parker W8ISH.



NEIL/ANCHOR: Some equally important modern-day contacts are being planned for the big anniversary and they involve radio societies in the US and the UK. Here's Jeremy Boot G4NJH with those details.

JEREMY: The Radio Society of Great Britain also has big plans for the centenary of the first transatlantic personal message between radio amateurs. Nick Totterdell, G4FAL, the society's HF contest committee chairman, told Newsline that the ARRL and RSGB members are organising a number of activities surrounding the anniversary. There will also be a Transatlantic QSO Party to be held on the 13th and 14th of November, being sponsored by the Radio Club of America. Nick said other activities will be disclosed soon on the society's website and will appear in the society's RadCom magazine. The society is hoping to maximise participation in the US and the UK and increase worldwide awareness of this achievement 100 years ago.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.



NEIL/ANCHOR: If you activate or even chase Parks on the Air, you'll want to hear the first of this new monthly POTA report from Vance Martin N3VEM.

VANCE: This month in Parks on the Air news we have two exciting updates to share with everybody. Our first: We are excited to announce that we have recently added over 1,000 parks to the Parks on the Air System. For the last several months we've had a small contingent of volunteers combing through user requests to add additional parks, validating that those requested parks meet the criteria for inclusion in POTA and formatting the list so they can be added to the system. After hundreds of volunteer hours the lists are now in the system and ready for you to go activate. Check out the maps and search pages at the POTA.APP website to see if any of these new units are in your area.

Also in POTA news, we are excited to share that we are formalizing a Parks on the Air support desk. You can always continue to get community support via the Facebook group or via the POTA Help Channel in the POTA Slack Group. But we have a small group of volunteers who have agreed to be on a rotating schedule to help you with your official technical support questions. To reach the official POTA support desk, all you need to do is send an email to help@parksontheair.com

We have coverage for most days of the week so you will usually get a response within 24 hours but no worse than 48 hours based on our volunteers' schedules. We won't solve every problem that fast but you'll know that we're on it. Issues requiring Level 2 support are generally resolved within the week.

This is N3VEM. Be sure to visit Parks On the Air dot com for more info about the program and POTA.APP for spotting, park information, leaderboards and more.



In the world of DX, Dom, 3Z9DX, will be on Conway Reef west of Fiji activating as a one-man DXpedition to this, the 41st most wanted DXCC entity. Dom, who belongs to the Rebel DX Group, expects to be on the air by the 17th of September and will be using the callsign 3D2CR. Be listening on 160 through 6 meters where he will be using CW, SSB and FT8/FT4 for about a two-week period. See QRZ.COM for QSL details.

Kiyo, JA7NQQ, is on the air from Katmandu, Nepal as 9N7NQ until the 23rd of September. This is not a DXpedition so he will be operating only during his free time, likely 23:00 to 0100 UTC and 12:00 to 15:00 UTC). Be listening on 40 to 10m where he will be using mostly FT8 mode. His QSL information is at QRZ.com.

Brian, N3OC, and Bud, AA3B, are on Antigua operating as V26OC and V26K, respectively, until September 20th. Be listening on the HF bands and 6m. QSL via their home callsigns, LoTW or Club Log OQRS.

Mike, VK4DX, will be on the air from Russell Island OC-137 between September 23rd and the 26th, operating on 40-15m. He will be using CW, FT8 and SSB.

Bo, OZ1DJJ, is active as OX3LX from Greenland until the 21st of September, operating on the low bands with a vertical antenna. Send QSLs via OZ0J. (Oh Zed Zero Jay)



NEIL/ANCHOR: Our final story is a retelling of the old fable that "slow and steady wins the race." For one Australian club, it's especially true for fans of CW. Graham Kemp VK4BB picks up the story....slowly.

GRAHAM: The Peel Amateur Radio Group believes there's no business like Slow Business, especially when it comes to CW. The club, based on Mandurah, Western Australia, has been on a mission to get CW to flourish among its newest members and to rekindle the keyers of oldtimers among them. They credit one member, Tony VK6DQ, with leading the charge through his nighttime coaching sessions. The club itself has already run a pair of Slow CW contests on 80 metres this year for members and nonmembers alike. The third event, on Saturday September 18th, extends the competition throughout all of the Oceania region.

It's actually not a competition at all. It's about being friendly and.....Taking. Your. Time. In fact, downloadable guidelines on the club's website tell readers [quote] "You’ll make mistakes and you’ll hear others making mistakes while they’re learning too – relax, have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff!" [endquote]

It's not that the club is in any big rush to find slow senders—but members DO want to encourage the slowest of the slow to get in on the action. In fact, members David Millett VK6FAAZ and Mark Bosma VK2KI/VK6QI have written in a Facebook post: [quote] "Please give it a go, no matter how bad you think you are, it's all about having a go and having some fun." [endquote]

FRIDAY EDITION: I will be operating as W1W at noon today on 40 meters SSB for the WBZ Boston 100th Anniversary Special Events station...I will be around 7.175 +/-....Secret listening post in WW2....Plans for a replacement hamfest are in the works. The Manchester Hamfest will be held on Saturday, September 18 from 8 AM to 1 PM at the Hope Baptist Church, 726 Western Ave, Manchester, Maine (1.6 miles from I-95 Exit 109B) located on Rt 202. Admission will be $5. Thanks Norm-W1ITT....

Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, Joins ARRL Headquarters Staff

Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, of Batesville, Mississippi, has joined the staff at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, where he will serve as manager of the Education and Learning Department (formerly the Lifelong Learning Department). He had consulted for the department as an instructional designer and was instrumental in the implementation of ARRL’s Learning Network webinars.

Goodgame teaches middle school computer science and is in his second year of teaching amateur radio to students at his school. “I have been teaching ham radio in some form for 20 years,” he said. “Over the past 3 years, we have had close to 60 middle and high school students earn their licenses, and several have upgraded.” Goodgame’s favorite ham radio activity is activating parks in the Parks on the Air (POTA) program with his daughter Jherica, KI5HTA. His wife, Cyndi, is K5CYN. Goodgame hosts the K5ATA Ham Radio YouTube channel. He is a Volunteer Examiner and a volunteer firefighter.

RISS seeks hosts for Ham Radio contacts with space station crew

Starting on October 1, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) will accept applications from US schools, museums, science centers, and community youth organizations — individually or working together — interested in hosting amateur radio contacts with crew members on the International Space Station (ISS). Contacts will be scheduled between July 1 and December 31, 2022. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates.

ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw a sizeable number of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.

The deadline to submit is November 24. Proposal information and more details, including expectations, proposal guidelines, and a proposal form are on the ARISS-US website. An ARISS introductory webinar session will be on October 7 at 8 PM ET (2400 UTC). Sign up via Eventbrite.

Each year, ARISS provides tens of thousands of students with opportunities to learn about space technologies and communications through amateur radio. Crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will participate in scheduled amateur radio contacts. These contacts are approximately 10 minutes long and allow students to interact with the astronaut through a question-and-answer session.

The program offers learning opportunities by connecting students to orbiting astronauts through a partnership that includes ARRL, AMSAT, and NASA, as well as other amateur radio organizations, and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan, and Europe. The program’s goal is to inspire students to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and Amateur Radio.

“Educators overwhelmingly report that student participation in the ARISS program stimulates interest in STEM subjects and in STEM careers,” ARISS said in announcing the contact opportunities. ARISS says enthusiasm sparked by a school contact also may lead to an interest in ham radio among students and to the creation of ham radio clubs in schools. Some educators have even become radio amateurs after experiencing a contact with an ISS crew member.

ARISS is celebrating 20 years of continuous amateur radio operations on the ISS. Contact ARISS-US for additional information.


It was mid-1922 and America was in the midst of the radio craze. Commercial broadcasting had emerged in a handful of cities in 1920, but at that time, few people had a receiving set—except for amateur radio operators, who knew how to build one. It wasn’t even called “radio” back then—newspapers referred to it as “radiophone” or “wireless telephone.” But only two years later, there were several hundred radio stations on the air, and you could purchase a radio in a store—although hobbyists still had fun trying to build their own, with varying degrees of success. Meanwhile, the word “radio” had become the common term for that wonderful new invention that everyone wanted in their home.  FULL ARTICLE

THURSDAY EDITION: Rainy and cloudy here on Cape Ann this morning, good day to go thru the closet and cabinet drawers in the ham shack and find all kinds of crap I didn't remember I had bought....

Next SpaceX Commercial Crew to ISS Comprised of Radio Amateurs

Four radio amateurs will head to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a commercial flight, thanks to Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). They are Raja Chari, KI5LIU; Tom Marshburn, KE5HOC; Kayla Barron, KI5LAL, and Matthias Maurer, KI5KFH. As the most experienced space traveler, Maurer, who is a European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut, could end up with a very heavy work schedule. The targeted launch date is no sooner than October 31, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The launch will mark the third SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket launch combination as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which provides reliable and affordable transportation to and from the ISS. The crew is scheduled for a long-duration stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what’s expected to be a seven-member crew.

The launch will be the first spaceflight for Chari, Barron, and Maurer, and the third for Marshburn. The crew will complete a 6-month science mission aboard the microgravity laboratory in low-Earth orbit.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 will be the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on an American rocket and spacecraft from the US to the space station and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight in 2020, the Crew-1 mission in 2020-21, and the ongoing Crew-2 flight as part of the Expedition 65 crew.

Crew-3 astronauts plan to arrive at the station to overlap with NASA Astronauts Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, and Megan McArthur; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, KE5DNI, and ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG, who flew to the station as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission in April 2021.

RTTY Service Station K6KPH is Back

RTTY Service Station K6KPH, operating from the Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS), is officially back on the air. K6KPH also transmits W1AW Qualifying Run texts and the W1AW Field Day Bulletin. The station was off the air due to COVID-19 restrictions and antenna damage.

Repairs to the transmitter site in Bolinas, California, were performed under a US National Park Service grant and support from the MRHS. Years of damage from decaying poles, failing crossarms, and falling trees necessitated the repairs, MRHS said. The next West Coast Qualifying Run to be transmitted from K6KPH is scheduled for Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 2100 UTC on 3581.5, 7047.5, 14047.5, 18097.5, and 21067.5 kHz.

Deaf pupils to talk to astronauts on the International Space Station in a world first

A group of pupils at the Mary Hare School for deaf children in Newbury will be talking to an Astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbits above them at 11,000 miles per hour.

Mary Hare School, with Pippa Middleton as its Ambassador, is the largest school for deaf children in the UK.

In October 2021 the school will be using Amateur Radio equipment set up with the help of Radio Amateurs from the Newbury and District Amateur Radio Society (NADARS).

These will be the first deaf children to have done this, making it a world first. The pupils will each ask a question to the astronaut who will then answer live over amateur radio. The reply will then be interpreted into subtitles.

During September the school will be running a competition inviting students to enter their question from one of five categories, science in space, space technology, living in space, space communication and earth from space. The ten best questions were chosen by staff and those students invited to ask their question on the day of broadcast. ‘It is a very exciting event – a world first for deaf pupils,’ said Mr Ayling a science teacher at the school. ‘I think it is very important to our deaf pupils as it shows whatever your challenges with communication there is no limit to what you can achieve. The sky is not the limit.’

The event will be made possible by the world-wide organisation ARISS (Amateur Radio International Space Station) that heads up the amateur radio contacts for space agencies NASA and ESA. The ISS has an Amateur Radio station on board and the Astronauts are also licenced Radio Amateurs. The signal will be transmitted and received on the VHF Amateur band and can be heard live all over the UK using amateur radios or scanners. There will also be a live web feed available on the internet enabling people to watch the event worldwide including Mission Control, Houston!

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Not much news to report today....Amateur radio enthusiasts in Richmond are about to run a series of courses this fall in a bid to lure people into their hobby. The Richmond Amateur Radio Club (RARC) will roll out its “learning program” next month with certification courses, skills development classes and information sessions relevant to amateur radio to cultivate general interest in the pastime....Dave, K4DRA, wants to try a double dipole set up in order to get an omnidirectional dipole, but he has yet to understand the circular polarization that his set up will create. Dave here to explain ...

Legendary weather spotter dies

The voice of severe weather in North Texas has been silenced. Charlie Byars died Sunday.

Byars was a leader of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) Skywarn group since its inception. That’s a group of HAM radio volunteers who spread out and watch the skies during severe weather and report to local authorities.

Byars said his interest in weather traced back to 1958, when a tornado touched down near downtown Wichita Falls, causing considerable damage and killing one person. He got his HAM radio license in 1959, and combined his interest in severe weather and amateur radio through all the damaging weather events that followed. He was instrumental in forming the local ARES group in 1974.

He directed the radio network during the historic April 20, 1979, tornado that killed more than 40 local residents and left thousands of people homeless.    STORY

Something just hit Jupiter

Last night, an astronomer in Germany was surprised when a bright flash of light emerged from the cloudtops of Jupiter. It appears to be the impact of an asteroid or comet.

Astronomers will be watching the impact site tonight for signs of debris.

Full story @ Spaceweather.com.

TUESDAY EDITION: How many hams in the US? ...Listen to the space weather woman, she knows! ....

Conway Reef one man DXpedition

Dom, 3Z9DX (aka-3D2USU), member of the Rebel DX Group, announced that he has finally received the Navy's permission to leave the main island of Viti Levu, and will be planning a one man DXpedition (due to the Covid and travel restrictions) to Conway Reef for about 10 days.

He will set sail around September 15-17th. It is about 2 days sail from Fiji and 1 day to set the camp. So activity could start around September 17th signing as 3D2CR. He states on QRZ.com, "Fiji is still under 'No Tourism - no visitors' rules."

Activity will be on 160-6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8/FT4.

Suggested frequencies are:
CW - 1822, 3502, 7002, 10106, 14002, 18072, 21002, 24892 and 28002 kHz
SSB - 3785, 7090, 14190, 18140, 21200, 24940 and 28440 kHz
FT8 - 1840, 3573, 7074, 10136, 14074, 18100, 21074, 24915 and 28074 kHz
FT8(F&H) - 1840, 3567, 7056, 10131, 14090, 18095, 21091, 24911 and 28091 kHz
FT4 - 3575, 7047.5, 10140, 14080, 18104, 21140, 24919 and 28180 kHz
6m - 50105/CW, 50140/SSB and 50313/FT8

Dom also states on QRZ.com, "There will be NO internet conection, NO log online, NO QSO's request, NO cluster readings. All log mistakes will be checked when back to Fiji Main island after the trip." No QSL route
has been announced. Most likely it will be ClubLog's OQRS.

"Havana syndrome" and the mystery of the microwaves

Doctors, scientists, intelligence agents and government officials have all been trying to find out what causes "Havana syndrome" - a mysterious illness that has struck American diplomats and spies. Some call it an act of war, others wonder if it is some new and secret form of surveillance - and some people believe it could even be all in the mind. So who or what is responsible?

It often started with a sound, one that people struggled to describe. "Buzzing", "grinding metal", "piercing squeals", was the best they could manage.  

One woman described a low hum and intense pressure in her skull; another felt a pulse of pain. Those who did not hear a sound, felt heat or pressure. But for those who heard the sound, covering their ears made no difference. Some of the people who experienced the syndrome were left with dizziness and fatigue for months. 

Havana syndrome first emerged in Cuba in 2016. The first cases were CIA officers, which meant they were kept secret. But, eventually, word got out and anxiety spread. Twenty-six personnel and family members would report a wide variety of symptoms. There were whispers that some colleagues thought sufferers were crazy and it was "all in the mind". 

Five years on, reports now number in the hundreds and, the BBC has been told, span every continent, leaving a real impact on the US's ability to operate overseas. 

Uncovering the truth has now become a top US national security priority - one that an official has described as the most difficult intelligence challenge they have ever faced. 

Read the full BBC News article at:

California Club Assists Animal Rescue Group with Communication Support

The El Dorado County Amateur Radio Club (EDCARC) has been providing radio communication support for small and large-animal rescue efforts during the Caldor Fire. Members of the South County Large Animal Rescue (SCLAR) group, El Dorado County Animal Services, and other volunteers have been addressing the need. Many of the EDCARC volunteers are also members of the Club’s Neighborhood Radio Watch program.

As the Caldor Fire destroyed the community of Grizzly Flats, threatened Lake Tahoe, and caused evacuations in dozens of communities throughout the county, thousands of area residents were forced to flee their homes without having time to round up their pets and livestock.

“We desperately love our animal companions, whether big or small, and being separated and unable to care for them in the midst of a disaster is truly heart-wrenching,” said Alan Thompson, W6WN, the club’s Public Information Officer. “Because of the mountainous terrain, many of our neighborhoods already had little or no cell or internet communication, and the fire only made things worse.”

Thompson said the club quickly deployed its Mobile ARES Communications Center, maintained by Jay Harmor, KE6GLA, which is in service as central net operations. Several members stepped up, including Dale Dennis, KJ6HHY, from Yolo ARES, and Tom Newman, NN6H, from Alameda County RACES (and part of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Communications Team, to volunteer their time and radios to accompany the animal rescue teams dispatched into impacted areas. Teams of SCLAR members, Animal Services personnel, public employees, and radio communications staff have been conducting daily animal rescue missions and welfare checks throughout the impacted areas. Until residents are permitted to return, these teams are providing food, water, and care to abandoned animals.

Thompson said those seeking an animal evacuation or welfare check should contact El Dorado County Animal Services — western slope, (530) 621-5795 or the shelter at (530) 621-7631. In the South Tahoe area, call (530) 573-7925.

SCLAR will respond as directed by El Dorado County Animal Services. They cannot self-deploy or respond directly to phone calls for assistance, Thompson said.

Tokyo Ham Fair 2021 is cancelled

Japan's JARL has announced the cancellation of the world's largest amateur radio event, the Tokyo Ham Fair 2021, which had been planned for October 2-3

JARL say:  

We were hopeful to have Ham Fair 2021 with possible preventative measures against COVID-19, but another wave of infection came in this Summer.

Considering the worse than expected COVID situation, JARL reluctantly decided to cancel Ham Fair 2021.

We hope that Tokyo Ham Fair can come back in Year 2022 under safer conditions.

Until then, we wish you all to stay safe and healthy.

73 de JARL International
Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP

Online talk: Batteries and Amateur Radio

Bill Coombes G4ERV will be giving an online talk, Batteries and Amateur Radio, to the Denby Dale Amateur Radio Club at 7:30pm (1830 GMT) on Wednesday, September 15, all are welcome to join the Zoom session

The Zoom meeting ID is 842 5221 3056

For further information see


MONDAY EDITION: If anyone has photos to share of the hamfest in Marlboro, send them to me......I wonder if the hamfest will become a "super spreader event" of Covid?....Building the MFJ/Vectronics VEC-121K Crystal Radio kit.....

How many radio amateurs are there worldwide ?

In his YouTube talk of September 7 the RSGB General Manager quoted 3 million as the number of radio amateurs worldwide but where did this number come from ?

A figure of 3 million has been widely quoted over the last 20 years and is the figure that was published by the IARU in 2000.

In the last century the IARU used to regularly collect statistics for the number of radio amateurs in each country and IARU published these amateur radio operator global totals:

2000 - 2,986,772
1995 - 2,646,000
1990 - 1,967,000
1985 - 1,489,000
1980 - 1,134,000
1975 -   737,000
1970 -   525,000

Unfortunately IARU stopped collecting the data just at the point when amateur radio numbers started to decline.  Data is available elsewhere for a few of the larger amateur radio countries and except for the USA this shows a steady decline in radio amateurs since 2000. For example the number of amateur radio stations in Japan has fallen by over 600,000 in the past 20 years, see Amateur Radio Licensing Statistics at

In some countries there are separate operator and station permits, Japan is one such case. The Operator total given in the AH0A table is for all the amateurs that have ever lived since the 1950's. They are not all still alive or even interested in the hobby anymore. A better indication of numbers is provided by the Station license totals.

So how many radio amateurs are there in 2021 ? The answer is no-one knows but it's likely to be closer to 1.75 million than to 3 million.

IARU Amateur Radio Statistics


Sounds familiar, Tom P. is the man you see at every ham fest with the collection of mores code keys and the enigma machine, nice guy....I believe he published a book about keys...

Hot air and amateur radio

Members of the Helvetia Telegraphy Club (HTC) will activate the callsign HB9HC/AM in the air from a hot air balloon.

Hans-Peter, HB9BXE, informs OPDX that the HB9HC/AM team's planned date is Tuesday, September 14th. Alternative dates are: Wed. 15th, Thu. 16th and Sat. 18th.

The balloon flight will be 2 hours long (within 0530-0900 UTC). The hot air balloon ride is very dependent on the weather. The probability that a trip will take place on the scheduled date is around 50 percent and the decision about it will be made at short notice! The Web team will try to keep the information up-to-date (on QRZ.com) in a timely manner.

Operators mentioned are Urs/HB9ABO, Hans-Peter/HB9BXE, Uli/HB9CGA, Peter/HB9TVK and Thomas/HB9BSH. The equipment is a KX3 with 15W into antennas for 40/30/20m (hanging vertically). Other bands may be possible.

It is advisable to consult the network of inverted beacons or a cluster to locate the active frequency. RBN link:

You will be able to track the exact position of the balloon via APRS at:

Braveheart on the move

On September 6th, Paul, N6PSE, announced the following on the Intrepid DX Group's FaceBook page: We were happy to receive some news from our old friend Nigel Jolly. He has sold the Braveheart to a new owner who will make her available for amateur radio DXpeditions.

Her new home port will be Ushuaia once she can be moved from NZ. We are delighted that she will continue to service the amateur radio world for years to come. She is a venerable ship and a great resource for amateur radio.


WEEKEND EDITION: What a beautiful weekend for a hamfest....Never forget 9/11...Who invented radio?.....

I thank Joe- K1JEK for the photos at the hamfest setup on Friday, the weather is perfect and Joe says the crowd is building, more than usual during setup day....

VoIP Hurricane Net to Activate

The VoIP Hurricane Net will activate on September 11, 0000 – 0600 UTC for Hurricane Larry, a Category 1 storm. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports that Larry is moving quickly toward southeastern Newfoundland and is expected to bring hurricane-force winds, dangerous storm surge, heavy seas, and heavy rainfall. As of 1200 UTC, Larry was about 650 miles southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland, with maximum sustained winds of 85 MPH, moving to the north-northeast at 26 MPH.

Net Manager Rob Macedo, KD1CY, said reports on the net’s reporting form will be forwarded to the National Hurricane Center’s WX4NHC and via CANWARN, the volunteer organization of ham radio operators who report severe weather to Environment Canada. Stations in the affected area may connect via Allstar 28848, Echolink 7203, Hamshack Hotline 94032, and IRLP 9219.

Reports may also be sent to Kc5fm-9 on APRS, kc5fm@winlink.org, Dstar REF052B, or WiresX 43234. The net accepts SKYWARN criteria reports, including damage, hail greater than a quarter-inch, flooding, and other hazards. For more information, contact Macedo.  

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has announced that it will activate September 10 at 2100 UTC on both 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz.

Foundations of Amateur Radio

The Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge

Getting on air and making noise is what it's all about, so last week, that's exactly what we did. Randall VK6WR, Jishnu VK6JN and I participated in the Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge which is specifically scored to deal with power and mode differences between stations by using a handicap system that they liken to playing golf. Having been the winner of the Sir Donald Bradman Award in the Millmerran Memorial Golf Tournament for making the highest score on the day, this speaks to me in more ways than I can say. In case you're wondering, more hits in golf is bad and I'm not a golfer.

Scoring in the Portable Ops Challenge is based around four different attributes, the power you're using, the nature of your station, portable or fixed, the mode used and the number of transmitters in use.

To achieve this, you exchange a maidenhead grid square, a combination of letters and numbers that indicates your location on earth, which is then used to determine how many kilometres per Watt are used to make the contact.

If you're portable, you get a multiplier benefit in the scoring.

Depending on the perceived difficulty of the contact, you score more points. In this case, SSB is harder than CW, which in turn is harder than a digital mode.

Finally, the more transmitters you have, the less each contact is worth. Two transmitters, means you score half the points for each.

With that in mind, a QRP portable station with a single transmitter calling CQ on SSB is the best way to make points and that is something that I'm always up for.

In our adventure, we opted for a slight change, instead using FT4 and FT8, using 40 Watts, portable, on the side of a hill in a local park and during the four hours we were active, we managed six contacts, one over SSB, the rest using digital modes and we all had several goes at getting the best out of our station.

Our set-up consisted of a small folding table next to my car with a computer, a radio and a thermos flask with hot tea to ward off the chill in the air. Power was supplied by an 80 AH battery. The radio was an Icom IC-7300 that Randall brought along.

The antenna we used was a Terlin Outbacker, multi-tap whip that was attached to my car with a 12m counterpoise run along the gutter.

None of us had ever seen such excellent conditions with such a low noise floor in the middle of the city. We were enjoying the last warm sun of the day from Kings Park in Perth, Western Australia. It's a 990 acre park, larger than Central Park in New York, set aside for public use in 1831 and gazetted as a public park in 1872. The park is open 24 hours a day and features a botanic garden with thousands of species of Western Australia's native flora and fauna, overlooks the central business district, the Swan River and the Darling Ranges and best of all, there's no radio noise. It did get chilly towards the end, but I'm pretty sure we all went home with all our fingers and toes intact.

Jishnu also brought along his FT-817 and a tiny multi-tap telescopic whip that we strapped to a nearby steel rubbish bin and using that set-up was able to detect and transmit WSPR signals across the globe as part of experimentation with his station.

One of the unexpected benefits of not yelling CQ into a microphone ad-nauseam was that we were able to continue our conversation, hearing stories from each other and enjoying hot pizza when dinnertime came around without needing to stuff food into the same place where CQ calls were intended to originate.

My car isn't quite ready to go completely portable, but this little outing again proved to me that portable vehicle based operation has a charm all its own and the Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge is going to be on my dance card next time it comes around!

When was the last time you left your shack and went portable?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Message to US Educators

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
Contact Opportunity
Call for Proposals

New Proposal Window is October 1st, 2021 to November 24th, 2021

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates that the contact would be held between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.

The deadline to submit a proposal is November 24th, 2021. Proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and the proposal form can be found at https://ariss-usa.org/hosting-an-ariss-contact-in-the-usa/. An ARISS Introductory Webinar session will be held on October 7th, 2021 at 8 PM ET. The Eventbrite link to sign up is: https://ariss-proposal-webinar-fall-2021.eventbrite.com

The Opportunity

Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.

An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in dates and times of the radio contact.

Amateur Radio organizations around the world with the support of NASA and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe present educational organizations with this opportunity. The ham radio organizations’ volunteer efforts provide the equipment and operational support to enable communication between crew on the ISS and students around the world using Amateur Radio.

Please direct any questions to ariss.us.education@gmail.com .

Radio ham receives distress call from vessel

Kahoku News reports on August 21 a Japanese radio amateur received a distress call from a vessel off the the coast of Niigata prefecture

A translation of the post reads:

In late August, Amateur Radio enthusiast Yukio Sakurai, 59, of Matsuyama, Osaki City, Miyagi prefecture, received a distress call from a small ship drifting off the coast of Niigata prefecture, and worked with other enthusiasts to gather information, leading to the rescue of two crew members by the Niigata coast guard (Niigata city).

Around 8:45 p.m. on August 21, Sakurai caught a noise-mixed voice called "SOS, SOS" at the Hokotaki Trailhead Parking Lot (Hokkaho City) on Mt. Toriumi, which straddles Akita and Yamagata prefectures. I thought about the possibility of mischief, but when I checked, it turned out to be received from a drifting ship, and I immediately called 110.

The report reached Niigata Kaiho via the 2nd District Coast Guard Headquarters (Shiogama City), but the small ship lost power and could not use the ship radio, and the crew's mobile phone did not pass. Niigata Kaiho also does not have amateur radio facilities.

Mr. Sakurai asked for the name of the crew and the status of the ship on Amateur Radio, which became the only means of communication, and conveyed information to the Marine Insurance through Amateur radio enthusiasts in Niigata Prefecture.

Based on the information, Niigata Kaiho searched the site area and found a small ship around 2:30 a.m. on The 22nd the following day. The other day, Sakurai continued to have communication with the crew and encouraged them to "do their best because we are going to rescue them from now on." Two men on the crew were not injured.

According to Niigata Kaiho, the ship is "The Seventh Shoryu Maru" (9.9 tons). A man from Okinawa prefecture broke down on his way back to Okinawa after purchasing in Hokkaido, drifting about 55 kilometers north-northeast of Sado City. A maritime security official said, "We were able to save lives by reporting appropriate information to the people concerned as soon as possible. We are very grateful."

Mr. Sakurai says, "I'm glad I happened to be in a place where radio waves in the Niigata area are easy to enter. I want you to know that Ama Radio is also useful for saving lives."

Amateur Radio Newsline


DON/ANCHOR: We begin this week with an update on the wildfires plaguing the US West Coast. In California, the Caldor Fire hasn't just left its impact on residents and business owners in the more than 200,000 acres it has destroyed: The animals who live there are suffering as well. Amateur radio operators are stepping in to help these victims of this historic blaze too. Ralph Squillace KK6ITB has the details.

RALPH: As flames of the Caldor Fire began sweeping perilously close to their homes starting in mid-August, residents were quickly evacuated to safety, often having to leave behind their pets and livestock. That's where hams in the El Dorado County Amateur Radio club and members of its Neighborhood Radio Watch program have stepped in. They've been providing radio communications support to those who have not forgotten the animals. According to Alan Thompson W6WN, the club's public information officer, radio operators have been assisting the South County Large Animal Rescue Group, El Dorado County Animal Services and the various emergency response agencies around California. The organizations are conducting welfare checks throughout the fire-damaged county, looking after animals who are sheltering in place—or facilitating a rescue when necessary. The hams themselves are getting support too: They're being joined by volunteers in the club's Neighborhood Radio Watch program, area residents using inexpensive General Mobile Radio Service, or GMRS, radios.

Alan wrote to Newsline: [quote] "We desperately love our animal companions." [endquote] The club reminds people in the affected areas to contact El Dorado County Animal Services or the shelter if they have animals they are concerned about. You'll find the phone numbers in the printed script of this week's newscast at arnewsline.org.


DON/ANCHOR: Two European-built amateur radio satellites were destroyed in an explosion during their rocket's first test flight. Ed Durrant DD5LP has details.

ED: The pair of AMSAT-EA Genesis satellites that were aboard the first test flight of Firefly Aerospace's Alpha launch vehicle were destroyed when the rocket, fueled by kerosene, launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base north west of Los Angeles—and then exploded. The blast blew apart the GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N satellites that had been built in collaboration with the Universidad Europea and ICAI. The satellites were outfitted for amateur communications using Amplitude Shift Keying and CW. Earliest reports on Twitter described what happened two and a half minutes after lift-off, saying the vehicle [quote] "appeared to lose control and tumble moments before the fiery explosion." [end quote]. According to a report on SpaceNews, the lift-off occurred only after a first launch attempt was made an hour earlier but was aborted in the final seconds of the countdown. The two digital repeater satellites were among several on board the rocket built by Texas-based Firefly Aerospace. Firefly tweeted [quote] "Alpha experienced an anomaly during first stage ascent that resulted in the loss of the vehicle." [end quote] The company was previously known as Firefly Space Systems before entering bankruptcy, which it emerged from in 2017 with new owners.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP.



DON/ANCHOR: A Texas high school honor student has received the ARRL's premier honor, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award. Paul Braun WD9GCO introduces us to her.

PAUL: As we discover every year with our Young Ham Of The Year award, there are some amazing young people in our hobby today. One of those is Katherine Forson, KT5KMF, the American Radio Relay League’s 2021 Hiram Percy Maxim Award winner.

I spoke with the remarkable young woman, who was licensed as a Tech at the age of nine and was an Extra five years later. Forson said she loves the public-service aspect of amateur radio, and participates in a variety of local events throughout the year. She’s also fascinated by the opportunities that the digital modes, such as FT-8, afford operators. But what’s most interesting to her is that ham radio has helped her decide her future:

FORSON: This is actually pretty interesting because ham radio has helped me a lot in figuring that out. Yes, I am a trained Skywarn storm spotter — I actually want to be a meteorologist. I finished just a couple weeks ago my application to Texas A&M. They have an incredible geosciences program there and specifically meteorology. They have the oldest ham radio club in Texas on campus and they also have a student storm chasing team.

PAUL: When asked if she had any advice for other young women who may be hesitant about getting into radio or science, like she did, she offered this:

FORSON: If it’s something you want to do, you go for it. I can remember when I first got licensed, when I was taking my test it was this room full of adult men and I was this tiny 9-year-old girl and I tried to use a giant calculator. It was awkward at first, but it’s become something that I love, it’s given me something that I have in common with my family, and it’s helped me figure out what I want to do with my life so I think, even if it’s intimidating at first, don’t let that stop you. Don’t let being one of the few women, one of the few young girls, stop you.

PAUL: Forson is working with other Texas-area female hams to create a YL-friendly online community tied into the ARRL North Texas section website.

Promoting youth in amateur radio is something near and dear to our hearts here at Amateur Radio Newsline. Our 2020 Young Ham of the Year, Chris Brault, was a former Maxim Award winner himself. Congratulations from all of us at Newsline to Katherine Forson who has a bright future ahead. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Paul Braun, WD9GCO.


DON/ANCHOR: America's Appalachian Trail has always captured hikers' imaginations and next month it will be capturing hundreds and hundreds of miles of radio signals. Jim Damron N8TMW has that report.

JIM: In the United States, the 2,190-mile-long Appalachian Trail will present 2,190 miles of possibilities for SOTA and POTA activators on Saturday, October 2nd. SOTA enthusiasts are already registering to activate summits that are within a short distance on the trail and hams will be calling between 1200 UTC and 2100 UTC throughout the day. If you're an avid hiker as well as a SOTA or POTA activator, you have time to add your name and your summit or park of choice to the list by sending an email to A T ontheair at gmail dot com (ATontheair@gmail.com). SOTA activators may also post an alert on SOTAWatch. This event is being held on the same day as the W7A s2s 10-point madness so it's recommended that SOTA chasers stand by and defer to summits calling other summits.

For details visit the Appalachian Trail on the air website. The URL is listed in the printed script of this week's newscast at arnewsline.org

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Damron N8TMW.



DON/ANCHOR: If you want to hear history as it happens, be listening for the audio retransmissions provided by the Launch Information Service and Amateur Television System. They'll be retransmitting feeds of the countdown and the booster recovery for SpaceX's Inspiration4, a three-day mission featuring the first all-civilian crew inside a Crew Dragon spacecraft. It's a charity flight for the benefit of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. At the time Newsline went to production, liftoff was scheduled for September 15th. According to Joe Dolinsky, W0WD, the LISATS (LEE-SATS) Amateur Radio Club repeater will carry feeds of the transmissions. There is also a "listen live" button on LISATS.ORG, the (LEE-SATS) website, which has links to Broadcastify. Listening may also be possible via EchoLink at WB4ATV.



DON/ANCHOR: Hams who are up for some high adventure in Switzerland are taking their ambitions seriously by operating from a hot-air balloon. Ed Durrant DD5LP tells us about their plans.

ED: Plans for the Helvetia Telegraphy Club's next big activation are up in the air. In fact, the radio operators hope to get up in the air and stay there for at least two hours aboard a hot-air balloon. Their scheduled launch date is the 14th of September when they hope to start operating sometime after 0530 UTC. The callsign HB9HC/AM will be activated by members of the USKA/HTC National Mountain Day Commission as hams ascend to the sky over Switzerland, operating all the while on 40m, 30m and 20m. They will be transmitting with 15 watts of CW power, making use of vertical dangling antennas. If you're interested in a contact, watch the Reverse Beacon Network or the DX clusters. You can also use APRS if you're interested in tracking the balloon's exact position. Are the radio operators' hopes perhaps a bit overinflated? Probably not: They're already advising everyone to get familiar with such important Q codes as QAH for Altitude and QAL for Landing.

All details are on their website at the URL given in the script on our arnewsline.org website.


DON/ANCHOR: If you're a satellite enthusiast, you owe a bit of thanks to one notable homebrewer, tinkerer and distinguished professor in the UK. Jeremy Boot G4NJH tells us about a recent BBC interview with him.

JEREMY: With an imagination fueled by NASA's Apollo missions a decade earlier, Martin Sweeting G3YJO went on to launch a new era in space himself: the age of microsatellites, which began as a homebrew project built partly at home and partly on the University of Surrey campus. That first, very basic microsatellite - U0Sat-1, the granddaddy of all that would come later - was eventually launched by NASA in 1981. Martin, an amateur radio operator since his student years, recalls in a new interview with the BBC what it was like being the creator of the first microsatellite in a pre-internet era. More than amateur radio communications tools, today's microsatellites aid the world in navigation, scientific research, weather and environmental monitoring. As satellite mega-constellations now revolutionize communications yet further, Martin, a Distinguished Professor of Space Engineering at the university, also makes a plea to clean the skies of the hazard of space junk. The BBC posted the half-hour interview on its website.

That URL is available in the script of this week's newscast at arnewsline.org


DON/ANCHOR: The Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association is introducing a new twist or two on an old favorite DX contest now in its 76th year. With those details, here's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

JIM: If you're looking for contacts with stations in the Oceania region and you happen to be a YL, you're in luck. The Oceania DX Contest is taking place on two consecutive weekends — October 2nd and 3rd for phone and October 9th and 10th for CW — and this year the spotlight includes two awards being introduced specifically for YLs. Both awards, sponsored by ALARA, the Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association, are being given to a single-operator YL who achieve the highest combined score in phone and CW. YLs inside the Oceania region are eligible for the Florence McKenzie Award, named for Australia's first known licensed female ham radio operator who received the callsign A2GA in 1925. YLs in the rest of the world are eligible for the Austine Henry Award, named for a prize-winning homebrewer who was a member of the YASME Foundation, the RSGB, NZART and the ARRL. She became Australia's third licensed YL in 1930 when she received the callsign VK3YL.
YLs who want to be considered for either award should select the YL box on their entry form when they submit their log.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.



DON/ANCHOR: There's something for everyone in a new Special Interest Group that's about to begin meeting up in Sydney, Australia. Best of all, you don't even have to be in Australia to attend, as Graham Kemp VK4BB tells us.

GRAHAM: The Bendigo Amateur Radio & Electronics Club is inviting you all to Australia. The occasion is the startup of the club's Special Interest Group Session, or SIGS. The first one is set for Friday, September 17th at 7:30 p.m. local time. The location is club headquarters in Bendigo East Hall in Bendigo but don't let the small obstacle of an ocean or two prevent you from being a part of it: the club is opening the session to attendees everywhere, via Zoom and every radio club is encouraged to participate. According to an email from Graeme Knight, VK3GRK, these sessions are being held on weekends at BAREC headquarters and will cover a variety of topics, led by club members with expertise in those areas. They will cover such topics as CW, JS8Call, WinLink, mentoring and an introduction to amateur radio.

The Zoom details can be found in the script for this week's newscast at arnewsline.org.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB.


In the World of DX, special event stations ED3SDC, EG1SDC through EG8SDC and EH1SDC through EH8SDC are on the air from Spain until the 12th of September. The stations are commemorating the Asturias Day Festival and its patron saint, Santina de Covadonga. Send QSLs to EA1AUM, direct, by the Bureau, LoTW or eQSL. There are also downloadable certificates. For more details visit QRZ.com.

Be listening for Mark, W5MED, who is at McMurdo Station on Ross Island in Antarctica, AN-011, until October. Mark can be heard on the air on 14.243 MHz SSB and 14.070 MHz FT8. Send QSLs direct to K7MT and Logbook of The World.

If you're planning to work any amateurs from Belgium, be listening for the special prefix OS being used through the 12th of December. The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications has given permission for the substitution of the usual ON prefix to mark the 120th anniversary of the first transatlantic radio transmission by Guglielo Marconi.




DON/ANCHOR: Our final story is transmitted signals, pigeons and a bit of a flap that has nothing to do with those feathered wings. Neil Rapp WB9VPG flutters in on a wing and a prayer with all those details.

NEIL: Satellite enthusiasts are known to call their passion "working the birds." Who doesn't love the thrill of bouncing signals from on high with a little help from some ham-friendly tech in the sky? But not all birds, apparently, are friendly to radio signals. In this case, we mean the feathered kind of birds which are being eyed for possible disruption of a satellite broadband service. Call it suspected RFI - for Ruffled Feather Interference. Pigeons, it seems, may be a source of trouble for at least one man who is beta-testing Elon Musk's Starlink service in the UK. Signals from the low-earth-orbit satellite system are sent to small rooftop receiving dishes that could appear to be a birdbath in need of refilling — that is, if you happen to be a thirsty bird. Alan Woodward, a professor at the University of Surrey, told the BBC in a recent report that he blames roosting pigeons for his intermittent lack of reception. The BBC interviewed an unnamed expert who said the presence of pigeons could impact service but the BBC had no comment from Starlink itself. One thing is certain, however: satellites most definitely benefit from line of sight, not line of flight.

FRIDAY EDITION: I am hoping Joe-K1JEK and gang send some pictures of the hamfest, hint......I have grandkids field hockey and soccer games on Friday and Saturday and will not be able to attend....

August 2021 Volunteer Monitor Program Report

The Volunteer Monitor (VM) Program is a joint initiative between ARRL and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enhance compliance in the Amateur Radio Service.  This is the VM Program Report for August 2021.

  • Licensees in Pawcatuck, Connecticut; Wamego, Kansas; Valley Cottage, New York; Long Valley, New Jersey; Columbia, South Carolina, and Maryville, Tennessee, were sent Advisory Notices concerning operation on frequencies that were set aside for Haiti earthquake emergency communications by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Emergency Coordinator.

  • Licensees in Prineville, Winston, Silver Lake, and Roseburg, Oregon; Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Houston, Texas, were sent Advisory Notices concerning failure to identify, as required by Section 97.119(a) of the FCC Amateur Radio Service, pursuant to a nationwide rule compliance review of operations on 3.819 MHz and 3.953 MHz.

  • A former licensee in Seabrook, Texas, was sent an Advisory Notice concerning operation with an expired license.

  • An FT8 operator in Orion, Michigan, was sent to an Advisory Notice reminding him of the 200 W power limit on 30 meters.

  • A licensee in New Caney, Texas, was sent a final notice that his case was being referred to the FCC for license revocation or deletion of voice privileges from his license.

  • A Good Operator commendation was sent to an operator in Roseville, California, for Exemplary Amateur Procedure on May 21, 2021, during the 40-meter California Rescue Communications Net.

The revised total for VM monitoring in July was 5,746 hours — the highest number of hours monitored since the inception of the VM Program.

The IT staff at ARRL Headquarters completed work on an automated system for Volunteer Monitors to report monthly monitoring hours and Incident Reports. — Thanks to Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, Volunteer Monitor Program Administrator 

20th Anniversary of 9/11

ARRL The national association for Amateur Radio® honors the memories of those who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, including these radio amateurs:
Steven A. “Steve” Jacobson, N2SJ, 53, of New York City (WTC); William V. “Bill” Steckman, WA2ACW, 56, of West Hempstead, New York (WTC); Michael G. Jacobs, AA1GO, 54, an ARRL member from Danbury, Connecticut (WTC); Lt. Robert D. “Bob” Cirri, Sr., KA2OTD, 39, an ARRL member from Nutley, New Jersey and Port Authority police officer who was helping to evacuate workers from the building when it collapsed; William R. “Bill” Ruth, W3HRD, 57, of Mt. Airy, Maryland (Pentagon); Gerard J. “Rod” Coppola, KA2KET, 46, of New York City (WTC); and Winston A. Grant, KA2DRF, 59, of West Hempstead, New York (WTC). An assembly of articles, stories, and messages from the November 2001 issue of QST magazine is available at tinyurl.com/ARRL-QST-9-11.

Several special events will commemorate the attacks of September 11, 2001, and honor the victims.

Saturday, September 11, 1200 – 2359 UTC, the Somerset County Amateur Radio Club and Nittany Amateur Radio Club will activate N3M. Frequencies: 14.293, 7.293, and 3.993 MHz. QSL c/o Nittany Amateur Radio Club, P.O. Box 614, State College, PA 16801.

Saturday, September 11, 1400 – 1900 UTC, the Harrisburg (PA) Radio Amateurs Club (HRAC) will operate W3M. Frequencies: 7.265 and 14.265 MHz. For a certificate, visit www.w3uu.org/w3mqsl/.

Saturday, September 11, 1200 – 2400 UTC, the Pentagon Amateur Radio Club (PARC) will sponsor special event station K4P. Operation will be in the General-class portions of 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters on CW and RTTY. There will be a special QSL card available via PARC, P.O. Box 2322, Arlington, VA 22202. For more information, contact Gary Sessums, KC5QCN.

Saturday, September 11, 1400 UTC – 2400 UTC, members of the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club (GSBARC), and the Northeast Wireless Radio Club will activate special event call sign W2T.

Through September 13, 1600 – 0200 UTC, members of the American Legion Post 10 Amateur Radio Club, Albany, Oregon, will be active as N7F. QSL with SASE to American Legion Post 10, 1215 Pacific Blvd. SE, Albany, OR 97321. Email for more information.

Through September 13, 0000 – 0003 UTC, the Wireless Association of New York City, Staten Island, will activate WA2NYC. Frequencies: 28.450, 21.350, 14.340, and 7.238 MHz. D-STAR Reflector XLX020B will be monitored at the top of the hour QSL to Wireless Association of New York City, 233 Wolverine St., Staten Island, NY 10306. Email for more information.

Through September 14, N3U will be on the air from Pennsylvania to remember all victims of 9/11. QSL via W3PN. Operation will be mostly on SSB and CW, with some digital activity.

Search the Special Events calendar on the ARRL website for more details on these operations.

Transatlantic Tests Centenary

The early 1920s saw the dawn of international amateur radio. A series of significant milestones led, over some five years, from no amateur transmission ever having been heard on another continent, to intercontinental two-way communications becoming commonplace.

The RSGB will commemorate these historic events by encouraging everyone to get on the air to make QSOs – focusing on December 2021 and December 2022.

Full details of how you can participate will be published via the Society’s communications channels over the coming weeks and months.

There will be features and photos in RadCom but you can also read the fascinating story on the RSGB website: www.rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests

Louisiana ARES returning to normal status in storm-affected parishes

Louisiana ARES Section Emergency Coordinator James Coleman, AI5B, said this week that Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) teams in his Section 'should now be on normal status, with the affected parishes’ status as appropriate for local conditions.'

Emergency Coordinators in some hard-hit parishes have activated volunteers for relief and recovery operations. More than 30 parishes were affected by the storm, although cell telephone outages in the affected area stood at 3.7% as of September 8 and recovering rapidly. All 911 systems were reported operational as of September 8.

The Louisiana ARES Emergency Net now is on standby. “If it becomes necessary, the net will be active from 2 PM to 6 PM CDT on 7.255 MHz, and from 6 PM to 10 PM CDT on 3.878 MHz,” Coleman’s report said. The Louisiana Traffic Net is operating 7 days a week at 6 PM CDT on 3.910 MHz.

ARRL Headquarters shipped Ham Aid kits to Louisiana Region 3 for use during their recovery efforts. Region 3 District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) Miriam Barrett, KG5BNH, and St. Mary Parish’s Emergency Coordinator Jacki Price, KA5LMZ, have coordinated their efforts to assist the Council on Aging in Terrebonne Parish. The Ham Aid kits include equipment for HF, VHF, and UHF, including hand-held transceivers and “base station” antennas.

The W5RAR VHF repeater (146.805 MHz) was in use over a four-parish area — La Fourche, St. Charles, St. John, and Terrebonne, which suffered significant wireless system damage as well as a 911 system outage in St. John Parish. The St. Charles emergency operations center was transmitting requests via the LWARN 440-MHz linked repeater system to WB5LHS.

A communications team in support of Florida Baptist Disaster Relief established operations in a communications trailer at the Metairie Baptist Church. The Jefferson Parish Emergency Operations Center (EOC) with DEC Nick Frederick, W4NDF, and the City of Kenner EOC with Mary Vernoy, WB5IOE, assisting maintained a VHF net. Kenner’s fiber optic cable that provided internet was cut by Entergy so it could access one of its lines for repair. That left “two erratic cellphones and a VHF net” as the only communications Kenner had with Jefferson Parish. Vernoy had to climb onto the roof of the EOC to pick up the 2-meter antenna that had been knocked down by wind. She was cheered by the arrival of the Baptist team from Florida.

Gordon Gibby, KX4Z, reported that Metairie was hard-hit, with power out and boil water notices, although the areas around hospitals have had power restored. “Hams can be a big benefit by partnering with organizations like Florida Baptist and work to meet their specific communications needs,” said Gibby, who has connections with the Florida group and drove from Florida to help out for a day. He said hams were “somewhat embedded” within the volunteer organization.

A report from Tangipahoa Parish said that as weather conditions deteriorated on August 29 — the day Hurricane Ida made landfall — local repeaters lost power and went on battery backup. Two repeaters were lost when a tower collapsed. Formal weather nets were not conducted to conserve power for emergency transmissions only. As of September 6, both the WB5NET and W5TEO repeaters remained on battery pack-up power and conserving power.

Elmer Tatum, N5EKF, reports that, as of September 8, all of the repeaters in Ascension Parish Region 2 remain off the air, and two of them — the 145.31 and 146.985 repeaters — sustained damage. The 147.225 repeater has no power. Two radio amateurs at the state emergency operations center staffed the EOC for some 20 hours straight. Tatum relieved them on Monday, August 30, and passed “quite a few messages” for the St. Charles EOC via the 146.805 and 444.350 repeaters, including one request for an ambulance. Some parish emergency operations centers passed traffic via VHF simplex.

ARES Region 2 Assistant District Emergency Coordinator Michael Nolan, KD5MLD, reported that four Region 2 objectives were accomplished during the storm, all involving major challenges. These included establishing amateur radio communication with the state EOC, Region 2 EOC, and the American Red Cross; requesting implementation of auxiliary communication rapid response teams to assist served agencies; promoting to parish EOCs the value of real-time situation reports from radio amateurs operating from their homes, and to educating amateur radio emergency operators to become embedded with their served agencies prior to activation. — Thanks to Louisiana ARES Section Emergency Coordinator James Coleman, AI5B


THURSDAY EDITION: Ham radio bicycle mobile using APRS for tracking in a marathon video...If you can make it, this is the weekend for the big New England hamfest in Marlboro, MA.....I was talking to a ham on 75 last night checking two antennas for performance. The dipole gave me a reading of 20+ and then he switched to an endfed antenna and I could hardly hear him. He said, boy that endfed sucks. I asked him how he switched so fast from one antenna to the other. He said well I matched the antenna with my manual tuner for the dipole and then just switched to the endfed. I tried to explain he needed to tune the endfed with the tuner first, he tried it and he was 10 over. His transceiver folded back the power out when it saw a high swr. He should watch this.......

HamSCI Founder Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, Awarded $481,260 NASA Research Grant

Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) founder Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF — an assistant professor in The University of Scranton’s Physics and Engineering Department — has been awarded a $481,260 grant through the NASA Space Weather Applications Operations Phase II Research Program. Frissell will serve as principal investigator for a research project entitled, “Enabling Space Weather Research with Global Scale Amateur Radio Datasets.” He’ll collaborate with Philip Erickson, W1PJE, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Haystack Observatory and Bill Engelke, AB4EJ, at the University of Alabama.

“This grant includes significant funding for participation of Scranton undergraduate students in this research, as well as support for new computation resources,” Frissell said. He explained that the grant will fund “the development of an empirical model for the prediction of traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) in high-frequency radio communications while investigating the geophysical drivers of these disturbances.” The grant will cover 2 years of work.

Frissell said that the predictive, empirical TID models will be developed  using data collected by the Reverse Beacon Network, WSPR, and PSKreporter — automated, global-scale radio communication observation networks operated by the amateur radio community. Undergraduate students will help the faculty researchers to create algorithms used for the model development.

This new NASA award complements a 5-year National Science Foundation grant of more than $616,000 that Frissell received in 2020. That investigation aims to understand the source of TIDs observed in amateur radio and other scientific datasets.

In 2019, Frissell received a $1.3 million National Science Foundation grant to fund a 3-year initiative to measure modulations produced in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The grant supports a collaborative team to develop the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station, a modular, multi-instrument, ground-based space science observation platform used to study variability in the coupled geospace system and to better understand HF radio propagation.

This is Frissell’s second NASA grant. A space physicist, he is among the researchers working on a NASA Living with a Star Program (LWS) project, “Wave-Driven Asymmetries in the Ionosphere-Thermosphere due to Asymmetries in the Northern and Southern Polar Vortices.” That project is being led by Richard Collins of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.=

Here we take a look at the RS-HFIQ 5 Watt HF SDR Transceiver by HobbyPCB.

The RS-HFIQ is an open-source HF transceiver project designed to translate I and Q baseband signals to RF in the 80/60/40/30/20/17/15/12/10M Amateur Radio bands. The I and Q signals must be provided/processed by external signal processing which could be a PC running Software Defined Radio software or a stand-alone digital signal processor

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Fun Facts: Ford pardoned Nixon this day in history and Biden has a 67% disapproval rate on how he handled the pullout in Afghanistan....Engaging and Educating Youth in Amateur Radio Through Hands-on Space Science Activities ....An 'Internet apocalypse' could ride to Earth with the next solar storm, new research warns

It won't be long until the New England Hamfest in Marlboro, MA

GENESIS Ham Satellites among Payloads Lost in Launch Failure

The GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N ham radio satellites were among several carrying amateur radio payloads lost following the failure of the Firefly Alpha rocket during its first launch on September 2 from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. An anomaly occurred about 2 minutes into the mission, causing controllers to destroy the launcher in flight. The anomaly has yet to be explained.

This was sad news for AMSAT-EA (Spain), as GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N were the first satellites they had built themselves.

According to the AMSAT-EA website, the GENESIS satellites were destroyed after the Firefly Alpha vehicle presented an anomaly as it hit a velocity of Mach 1 and reached Max Q, a point of maximum aerodynamic pressure on the vehicle. The launch had been halted a few seconds before takeoff, but the countdown was subsequently resumed.

GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N were to conduct a series of telecommunications-related experiments, while a ground-station analysis of the received signals would try to attain Doppler variations in order to perform orbit determination and satellite identification from radio amateur stations around the world.

Also lost in the launch failure were the Serenity, Hiapo, the Cresst Dream Comet, and QUBIK-1 and QUBIK-2 satellites, and Spinnaker-3/Firefly Capsule 1. All were designed to use amateur radio frequencies for telemetry and/or communication.

Serenity, a 3U CubeSat, was developed by Teachers in Space (TIS) to provide low-cost opportunities to test educational experiments in space. TIS has previously guided high schools and other academic institutions in developing and flying sub-orbital experiments using high-altitude balloons, stratospheric gliders, and rockets. This was the first orbital satellite mission for TIS. Serenity carried a suite of data sensors and a camera to send data back to Earth using amateur frequencies.

Hiapo was an educational 1U CubeSat developed by the Hawaii Science and Technology Museum (HSTM). The Hiapo project was intended to provide hands-on STEM curriculum for Hawaii students in grades K – 12. Part of this curriculum involved obtaining data about solar flares, solar particle events, and disturbances in Earth’s magnetic field. Data would be available for amateur operators to download directly from the satellite.

Mexico special event

To commemorate the 211th anniversary of the Grito de Dolores (1821) and the 200th anniversary of the Consummation of the Independence of Mexico (2021), look for special event callsign 6I1M to be active between September 10-27th.

Activity will be on 80/40/20/15/10 meters using CW, SSB, FT8/FT4, Echolink (XE1SOV-L) and DMR (TG 33456).

Operators mentioned are Andres/XE1SGW, David/XE1DRM, Diego/XE1DVC, Gerardo/XE1SVT, Ismael/XE1AY, Maria/XE1LOV, Patricia/XE1SPM, Ricardo/XE1ELI and Ricardo/XE1SY.

QSL via XE1SPM. NO Bureau

Software Defined Radio Academy talks on YouTube

The Software Defined Radio Academy SDRA 2021 took place June 26-27 and the talks are now available on YouTube

The description of talks can be seen at

The videos are available at

Big sunspots turn toward Earth

Two of the biggest sunspots in years are turning toward Earth. Wide enough to swallow planets, the active regions are entering Earth's 'strike-zone', meaning any flares or CMEs this week would probably be Earth-directed.

Even if they don't explode, the sunspots are prime targets for amateur astronomers and sunset photographers.

Find out how to safely observe them @ Spaceweather.com.

TUESDAY EDITION: I hope you all had a a good weekend...I will be one of the operators for the WBZ Radio station 100th special event, the dates are September 17-19th. I selected the 40 and 75 meter SSB slots, more info to follow. Special event callsigns (W1W, W1B, W1Z, WB1Z)...

3-band vertical for portable use

In this video Bruce G4ABX demonstrates a 3-band (40m, 30m, and 20m) portable vertical 1/4 wave antenna (also suitable for a small garden if matching unit waterproofed)

The matching section (base loading coils) is courtesy of the 'QRPGuys' https://qrpguys.com/

My application uses a 7m fibreglass fishing pole and a PA Speaker stand as the base support -- so the antenna is completely free standing. The design has 4-off 10 foot radials. More radials will improve efficiency -- slightly, but at the expense of convenience. (More, or longer radials will not be so quick to deploy or take up!)

The complete antenna can be deployed -- or taken down in less then 10 minutes and the telescopic fibreglass mast is stored inside the speaker stand for safe transportation and storage.

SWR for all three bands is less than 1.7:1 and this is s resonant design so no ATU is needed. (Ideal for the FT817ND or ICOM IC-705 etc.)

I use this antenna in conjunction with my KX3 GoBox and performance is very good.
Power handling of the matching unit is 20 Watts PEP max. (I also use it with a Xeigu G90.)

Safety: Check there are no overhead cables above the area you plan to deploy the antenna. Never deploy an antenna in the vicinity of overhead cables.

New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
KA1BXB-Don...Regular on 3928 afternoons....just don't mention politics to him, please!
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses single ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 
K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent Key Neil -K1YPM .....a true gentleman
Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent KeyVA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....